health insurance exchange

Flickr user / Images Money "Healthcare Costs" (CC BY 2.0)

Health care premiums are rising, but the effect is concentrated on plans sold on and other exchanges.

In Illinois, premiums for insurance plans bought on the exchange are expected to go up this year.  That's because several carriers left the marketplace, citing losses.  Their absence means less competition. Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the state's largest insurance providers, could raise their rates by more than 50 percent.

This month, the Get Covered Illinois campaign issued a report about first-year enrollment, which ran between last fall and the spring. However, a policy group says the report is misleading.

Learning Health Insurance-Speak

Nov 6, 2013
WNIJ/Mike Moen

Despite technical obstacles, navigators are still helping people enroll into health-insurance marketplaces. In many communities, that includes helping those who speak little or no English. The northern Illinois region is no exception.

Confused about Obamacare? You're not alone. Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting January 1, 2014, or else they will be liable for a tax penalty. But many people aren't sure if they qualify and they have no clear idea of how much insurance might cost.

WNIJ can help. By entering data like zip code, income, age, family size and other factors into the Obamacare Calculator below, users can get estimates of the tax subsidies and insurance premiums available to them if they purchase insurance through the marketplaces, or exchanges.

Illinois will seek a partnership with the federal government to set up a health insurance exchange for the first year, aides to Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday.

That online marketplace eventually could help more than 1 million Illinoisans obtain affordable insurance as part of the federal health-care law.